Vitamin K Prescribing Trends Among Critically Ill Children Hospitalized for Sepsis: A Multicenter Observational Cohort Study

Corey A. Fowler, Meghan Roddy, Elizabeth Havlicek, Anthony A. Sochet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Vitamin K (VK) is commonly prescribed for pediatric sepsis-induced coagulopathy without trial-derived evidence to support its use for this indication. The purpose of this study was to characterize national prescribing trends for VK in this population. Patients and Methods: This is a multicenter retrospective cohort study using the Pediatric Health Information System registry including children 0 to 17 years of age hospitalized for sepsis in the pediatric intensive care unit from January 2016 through December 2022. The primary outcome was overall, annual, and center-specific VK prescribing rates. Descriptive data included demographics, length of stay, and rates of VK deficiency, hepatic insufficiency, red blood cell (RBC) transfusion, venous thromboembolism (VTE), and mortality. VK prescribing trends were assessed using Joinpoint regression. Descriptive statistics employed included Wilcoxon rank-sum, student's t, and chi-square tests. Results: Of the 31 221 encounters studied, 4539 (14.6%) were prescribed VK (median center-specific rate: 14.2%; interquartile range [IQR]: 8.8-21%) with a linear annual trend decreasing from 17.3% in 2016 to 13.3% in 2022 (−0.6%/year, r2=.661). Those prescribed VK had greater rates of hepatic dysfunction (20.5% vs 3.1%), RBC transfusion (26.5% vs 11.2%), VTE (12.5% vs 4.6%), mortality (17.1% vs 4.4%), and median length of stay (16 [IQR: 8-33] vs 8 [4-15] days) (all P <.001). VK deficiency was diagnosed in 0.2% of encounters. Conclusions: In this multicenter retrospective cohort, VK prescribing was common among critically ill children diagnosed with sepsis. Phased trials are needed to demonstrate clinical efficacy and safety for VK in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Intensive Care Medicine
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • coagulopathy
  • pediatric intensive care unit
  • pediatrics
  • sepsis
  • vitamin K

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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